Farmhouse in Villenave pres Marsac, Hautes Pyrenees, Midi Pyrenees - In a Quiet Village, Close to the Mountains and Just South of the Vineyards
- english, french
About Marion Cowie
My name is Marion and I live in London with my husband Simon and two children. La Maison Rose is a tranquil bolt hole which we enjoy as often as we can. In the photograph above, I have been picking plums which I store in rum to enjoy at Christmas and also make into chutney.
Marion Cowie purchased this Farmhouse in 2007
Why Marion Cowie chose Marsac
For some years our family holidays had been spent looking for a holiday home. We wanted somewhere near mountains so we could use it for skiing in the winter and somewhere warm enough, with a pool to be a great location for summer holidays. We also wanted a house big enough to accommodate friends and family. We didn't know this area of France at all, it felt 'undiscovered' and totally French. Marsac itself is a very small farming village. The only sounds are the church bells, cockerels in the morning, the occasional tractor, and the jingle of the van from the bakery in the next village on it's delivery round. However, drive south for ten minutes and there's E Leclerc supermarket and a further 5 minutes and you're in the bustling market town of Tarbes.
What makes this Farmhouse unique
I love the contrast between our busy London life and the peace of La Maison Rose. It may take a day or two, but everyone in the family relaxes and we enjoy quality time with each other. The Atlantic surfing beaches, Biarritz and the charming St. Jean de Luz are only a couple of hours away and well worth a day trip. The Pyrenees provide a spectacular view whatever the season! The largest ski resort in the Pyrenees, La Mongie, is an hour's drive. Walks, waterfalls and picnic places in the summer. Madiran wine from the gentle Madiran hills just north of La Maison Rose. As much as we enjoy days out, I love the fact that there's plenty to do (or not!) without leaving the property including table tennis, trampoline and salt water swimming pool (gentle on sensitive skin).
100% refund if cancelled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if cancelled at least 14 days before arrival date.
Post exam relaxation
Our group of 8 included 4 teenagers looking for post exam relaxation and they certainly found it here. They enjoyed swimming, table tennis, badminton, football etc and hooking up their games consul in the evening to unwind.
The booking process was simple and Marion the owner was excellent answering any queries we had prior to going and incredibly helpful and generous during our stay.
The property is a short, easy drive from the airport. If you have not driven abroad before (like us) the airport is quiet and the drive relatively stress free. The location of the property is very quiet and so having transport is the best option.
The locals are very friendly and were incredibly helpful when we needed medical assistance. We found the local town of Vic-en Bigorre perfect for essentials.
If I had one slight moan it would be that the property is still being advertised as having WiFi but it doesn't. Our original HomeAway property search included WiFi as this was felt important, for our particular group circumstances, so we were disappointed to find out it wasn't available. So make sure you have 4G data if you feel you will need access to the internet when there.
In all a great stay and would thoroughly recommend this property.
Wonderful Relaxing Holiday
We had a great holiday in this lovely property. There were 6 of us, two families and it was more than big enough with 5 bedrooms and lots of living space. The house had lots of character and rustic charm and the pool was heavenly. The whole property was completely enclosed which was great for the children and dog. The garden was huge and the surrounding countryside was beautiful. The village is very quiet and the nearest shop is about a 10 minute drive away but this means that it it is very peaceful and the only sounds to be heard at night are from nature! Perfect holiday had by all. Highly recommend.
Thank you, Rebecca! I'm glad you all had a good holiday.
Fantastic value house with pool
Great place, lovely furnishings, huge garden, pool area great suntrap.
Thank you! Come again!
Exceeded our expectations - great for large families
Property was larger than expected and has everything imaginable to make a family holiday memorable. We will be coming back! Great, large pool area and big garden; comfortable and very spacious bedrooms and living areas. In a small village that is quiet (apart from an occasional dog bark and cockerels from the farms nearby but that only added to the charm). Local shops are walking/cycling distance and there are good restaurants and towns nearby. We all missed this property when we left!
What can I say? All the reasons why we love the house and the area and look forward to our next visit. Thankyou
Big but cosy house, with great pool area and gardens
Lovely village, in an area full of character at the foothills of the Pyrenees. Great drives, walking and adventuring, though we found it hard to drag ourselves away from the house with so much fun to be had round the pool, and playing games in the grounds and in the house. Basic kitchen and bathrooms, but everything you need, and good value. Would stay again.
La Maison Rose is just 90 minutes by car from Biarritz and the Atlantic beach resorts of Capbreton, Hossegor, St Jean de Luz, for surfing and sunning!
A 3 hour journey the other way takes you to such Mediterranean resorts as Cap d'Agde.
Car is essential to get the best out of the area, taxis are few and far between.
Lourdes/Tarbes/Ossun - 25 mins (Ryanair from Stansted) A lot of names for a small airport! It is between Tarbes and Lourdes close to the village of Ossun.
Biarritz - 90 mins (Ryanair to Stansted)
Toulouse - 1 hr 45 mins (Easyjet to Gatwick, Flybe to Bristol, Aer Lingus, other major airlines)
Bergerac, Bordeaux - 2.5 hours - Ryanair and others
Nearest ports - Bibao, Santander - 4 - 5 hours drive
Other ports - all ports Calais and south, drive from 8 -12 hours.
Bakers in the next village - 5 minutes walk.
Tarbes - 15 minutes drive.
Pau - 45 minutes.
Madiran, St Mont vineyards and caves - 25 minutes.
Lourdes - 35 mins.
Bagneres de Bigorre - 35 mins.
Pyrénées - 50 mins.
Argeles Gazost - 1 hour.
Cycling. The Tour de France passes through one of the local villages every year on its way to or from the Col de Tourmalet. A good day out to enjoy the festival atmosphere building up to the arrival of the racers (don't blink)!
For the more active, La Maison Rose has provided a peaceful starting and finishing point to attempt the Pyrenean stages for themselves.
Tennis courts at Chis, 10 minutes drive.
Hiking, skiing, white water rafting in the Pyrénées, upward of 50 mins drive.
Horse riding - stables abound in the area, and the quality of the horses and the trekking is always high. Stables are within a 10 minute drive, but our favourite is in the hills north of Vic, 25 minutes drive!
Grottes (spectacular underground caves, with stalagmites and tites) within 45 minutes drive, Bettheram is wonderful!
Aerial tree walks, and other such activities all within 45 minutes drive.
Parc Walibi (theme park with scary rides, a smaller Disneyland without the queues) at Agen, with shaded picnic area, just under 2 hours drive.
Big supermarket 10 mins drive, loads of others in the area. Huge complex (clothes, electrical, massive supermarket) 20 mins drive
Tarbes has many nice shops, and a fantastic Thursday market (15 mins)
Markets - at least one for every day of the week, including a tiny one on Sunday, also watch out for the night markets, flea markets, and (very high quality) car boot sales.
The Gascony area is a gourmands delight, with a wide variety of dishes on offer, and international restaurants in Tarbes.
Try the local soup 'Garbure' - delicious! Eat duck in all its forms, local free range veal, seafood platters, a massive range of charcuterie and cheeses.
Restaurants range from 11 euros menus - four or five courses plus all the wine you can drink! through middle priced - 30 - 40 euros for two, to high gourmandise.
Banks and petrol at Vic en Bigorre (10 minute drive), Orleix for supermarket with hole in wall and good priced petrol (10 minutes).